What is Poutine?

Unless you come from Canada, or have come across this dish upon travels, I have found that most people (from the UK) do not know what poutine (pronounced: poo-teen) is. I too only discovered poutine last year during my travels to Toronto, although at the time I did not get the chance to try it. Alas, the time finally came for me to try Poutine, and here’s my verdict. Poutine originated from Quebec in the late 1950s, and is made of chips (French fries) covered with cheese curds topped by brown gravy. Does that sound appealing? Honestly, to me, it didn’t!

I was in Toronto over the weekend, and popped into the Eaton Centre for lunch. Whilst trying to choose what to eat, I thought ‘you know what, let’s try this poutine once and for all’. Considering this was my fourth time in Canada, I’m pretty late to catch onto this apparently amazing mouth-watering dish.


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Eaton Centre, Toronto

I was told that New York Fries poutine was one to go for, and so I got the regular sized original poutine. For those who are vegetarian (or have other dietary restrictions), be warned that gravy sometimes contains animal fat – so be sue to enquire. The gravy use in New York Fries poutine is animal fat-free! There were many other poutine combinations, but I figured that the original basic poutine would be best for the first try. At this point, my expectations were sky high (usually not a good thing to have exceedingly high expectations)!


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The poutine was hot, the chips crispy with a soft interior and the gravy warm, resulting in the slow melting of the cheese curd bites.

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New York Fries poutine

I must admit, I struggled to finish my meal! Although it did taste nice, the mixture of cheese with chips was extremely heavy. I’d recommend an empty stomach before indulging in poutine. I had poutine at 3pm and wasn’t able to eat anything until the following day, it really is a FILLING meal! Would I eat poutine again? Probably not. The concept itself is great but it was just overall a very thick meal without much flavour or taste (aside from the strong taste of cheese). Maybe I’m too British (into my fish and chips) to appreciate poutine.


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Dundas Square, downtown Toronto

I had to go for a very long walk around downtown Toronto to burn of 1/1000th of the calories I guess I consumed from that poutine (and other endeavours *cough cinnabon cough*.

Verdict: 4.5/10 (Sorry Canada)


Have you ever had poutine? If yes, what do you think? Am I the only one with reservations?


– A Y –

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15 thoughts on “What is Poutine?

  1. I have had it 3 times. The first time I didn’t like it. Thinking back it just might now have been fixed right. It wasn’t hot enough and this dish needs to be hot.
    The second and third time was at a friend’s house. Her husband was Canadian and she learned how to cook it from him.
    To be honest though, As good as it was, I like my fries better hot and crispy with cheese or not I love them plain with lot’s of salt I love them with vinegar.

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    1. Hmm, maybe that was the issue. I bought the poutine then went to get a drink, and so my meal had cooled down by the time I got round to eating it. Yes, I’m with you on that one – salt and vinegar!

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  2. Visiting Canada means 2 things for sure, Tim Horton’s coffee and poutine! I’ve had an Americanized version of poutine close to home. It consists of fries with cheddar cheese, then topped with brown gravy. It’s not quite the same but it’s pretty good!

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    1. Haha! Yes, one must visit Tim Hortons! Although I’m not a fan of coffee, I always go for the Timbits – delicious 🙂 Okay, i’ll be visiting New York soon, so I shall definitely look out for that.

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  3. “(Sorry Canada)” made me giggle.

    We once made poutine as a surprise for a Canadian friend of ours. It was probably only mediocre, but that was the closest I’ve ever seen anyone come to actually bouncing up and down in excitement.

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  4. Whilst living in Canada for a while this is not one of my favourite dishes..I prefer cheesy chips or chips with gravy but not both…still too much of a UK northener at heart or my stomach at least is…

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